Orchestra of Anxiety

... is a collection of instruments that use materials and technologies from the security and surveillance industries. The central focus of the installation is a harp, traditionally regarded as a sacred or metaphysical instrument. However, unlike standard harps, this one is strung with razor wire, requiring the harpist to wear protective gloves while playing. Touching a string triggers multiple projections and sound sources in the gallery. 

For this participatory installation, London-based artists Manu Luksch and Mukul Patel expand their ongoing explorations of the concept of security. The security industry is one of the fastest growing economic sectors of this decade, and is worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually. While 'security' can be seen as desire but never as a guaranteed status quo, socio-political measures of control are widely implemented in its name. The Orchestra of Anxiety, deploys security and surveillance technologies in an unusual and playful context, prompting visitors to reflect on their personal sense of security and their relationship with public fears (of petty crime, terrorism, etc.).

-> about the harp
In mythology, the harp is regarded as a sacred or metaphysical instrument and is associated with tranquility, love, and goodness around the world. A Biblical story tells of how David exorcised Saul's bad spirit by playing a harp. Our harp has similar powers to drive out evil and madness, but the harpist must first overcome the anxiety that the instrument provokes.
The razor wire strings are suspended in a steel frame. The harpist wears metal gloves that complete data circuits when a string is touched. This data is processed by two computers that control the projections and sound.

Orchestra of Anxiety is produced by inter-disciplinary arts production company ambientTV.NET. ambientTV.NET highlights models of networked and collaborative practice. Techniques and effects of data transmission provide theme, medium and performative space for works spanning installation, performance, documentary, dance, gastronomy, and live sound and video art. Much of the film and music production is freely disseminated through their website.

contact: info[at]ambientTV.NET

the artists would like to thank

John Ashworth
design and engineering consultancy for harp and gloves

Alluminae Dance Project
led by Dinnie Davis and Charlene Grant and Charmaine Grant,
and all the performers of the CCTV video:
Lucy Jackson, Joshua Francois, Maota Foday, Nathania Simon, Rachel Lee, Charlotte Browry, Sadi Ryan, Fernando Tiago, Sina Behbod, Sarita Stenson, Daniella Scarlett, Ehijir Ogun, Tyniche Hoyte, Shital Patel, Simone George, Rasha Rafat, Sania Tavaid, Zohrain Taffez, Shameen Cleo Willis, Edmund Roberts, Naomi Roberts, Mustafa Ali Najam, Toni Marie Ruhomon, Denisha Thomas, Tyrell Paisley, Carla LaTouche, Rachael Robertson, Rebecca Robertson, Amina Thomas, Shanika Monique, Gabrielle Thomson, Nickiesha Carla Brown, Vanessa Canudo, Cherise Davis, Christiana Davis, Sawy Mendes, Dean Segree, Wanda Thomas, Maria Feliciano

Tina Hage
video documentary and project assistance

Hounslow Council Film Department and the Management of Hounslow Homes (Brentford Towers)

Tony Heldt
Canine Unit Manager, OmniSecurity

Iris Ferre, David Panos, Anja Kirschner, Yew Sun, and Ilze Black
for their hands-on support